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If you are Christian and do not believe in a literal creation story from a biblical POV, do you believe Adam & Eve were literal? This came up in a coversation I had recently, and I am very interested to read what others think. I know many of you do not believe in a literal Genesis, so I am curious regarding your thoughts on Adam & Eve.

 

 

Thanks,

 

Susan

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I believe they were literal, but that they were the first humans where the bodies and brains had finally advanced to the point that they were in the image of God and ready to house our spirits. I also believe that the death spoken of in the Garden that was introduced to the earth by the Fall was spiritual death/separation from God, and that there was physical death on the earth since there were living things on it. IMO.

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Thanks. I also believe they were literal, but my thoughts vary from you.

 

I do believe in a literal 6 day creation & I think Adam and Eve were literal people that had children and the genealogy listed is true and accurate. My friend does not believe in a literal Genesis and feels the world evolved over billions of years, but she also believes Adam & Eve are literal. That's really as far as we got in the conversation though. We had to stop talking because her husband was finished with his work and ready to leave (he drove them). But I am still so curious about this!

 

I assumed if someone thought the creation account was just a story to explain creation, that they would also assume Adam & Eve were just a story to explain mankind. I assumed neither would be literal to that person.

 

Anyway, I knew a lot of people here did not believe in a literal creation, so I thought perhaps they could shed light on Adam and Eve as well.

 

Susan

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I believe in theistic evolution (evolution occurring over billions of years but with God as the ultimate creator/designer). I do believe in Adam and Eve as two literal people and a literal fall. I think Adam and Eve were created separately and that they were the people God formed the first relationship with, but that there were other humans who had evolved. I think Adam was special in that he was "in God's image" and as such was the first human to enjoy a special relationship with God.

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I don't believe in a literal creation (I believe in theistic evolution), and I don't believe that Adam and Eve were literal people, I believe they are a symbol for early mankind.

 

I do believe that the Great Flood happened as it was written about by other civilizations from that time period as well.

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I believe in theistic evolution. I do believe that Adam and Eve were literal beings. I believe that the physical evolution of mankind occurred over millions of years, but that Adam and Eve were the first literal man and women and that their souls were created by God (rather than evolving).

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I don't believe in a literal creation (I believe in theistic evolution), and I don't believe that Adam and Eve were literal people, I believe they are a symbol for early mankind.

 

I do believe that the Great Flood happened as it was written about by other civilizations from that time period as well.

 

:iagree:

 

 

Modern study of the human genome shows that everyone does have one common female ancestor and one common male ancestor, but interestingly, they did not live at the same time. I believe Genesis is true in a big picture sense but not in specific details. I also don't think it was originally meant to be taken to the literal extreme.

 

There must have been a time when mankind became self aware and a time when we began to desire and believe in something outside ourselves. There must have been a time when someone committed the first act against his conscience. Was his name Adam? I don't believe so. Adam just means man and is representative.

 

The way I like to think of it is: How would God have explained the creation and man's development to a primitive people three thousand years ago? Would he give them the complete unabridged version, or the summary adapted for people of their understanding level? Genesis is like a brief summary of main events, but it is by no means complete. IMO, perspective explains a lot.

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Thanks everyone. I will definitely check out the links too. Ssavings, I believe my friend feels closest to what you described.

 

As for not believing in a literal Adam & Eve but believing in the flood, that's a bit confusing to me. The Bible references Adam & Eve many times as real people. Even Jesus does. It seems the flood would require just as much faith to believe as Adam & Eve. But that's okay, I don't need to understand it:) I really just appreciate you all taking the time to share your thoughts.

 

Susan

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Thanks everyone. I will definitely check out the links too. Ssavings, I believe my friend feels closest to what you described.

 

As for not believing in a literal Adam & Eve but believing in the flood, that's a bit confusing to me. The Bible references Adam & Eve many times as real people. Even Jesus does. It seems the flood would require just as much faith to believe as Adam & Eve. But that's okay, I don't need to understand it:) I really just appreciate you all taking the time to share your thoughts.

 

Susan

 

I think that some people believe that there was a flood - or many floods - but they did not necessarily include the whole world. You would probably find a variety of beliefs about this.

 

Something to consider that might be helpful - some early theologians have suggested that the things that happened in the garden did not happen in the same timeline of creation that we live in. That is, the physical universe and time and the Big Bang or whatever is what happened after the Fall - it is kind of what happened after God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden. You could, if you wanted to be science-fictionish, say that the Garden was a sort of different dimention that is in some way related to our universe - even the source of our universe - in a similar way that we could say that the Kingdom of heaven is another dimension that is kind of laid over ours and analogous to it and in fact includes it.

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I believe in theistic evolution (evolution occurring over billions of years but with God as the ultimate creator/designer). I do believe in Adam and Eve as two literal people and a literal fall. I think Adam and Eve were created separately and that they were the people God formed the first relationship with, but that there were other humans who had evolved. I think Adam was special in that he was "in God's image" and as such was the first human to enjoy a special relationship with God.

 

For the most part, this is where I stand. I'm fascinated by the hints of other humans (and even giants) in the first few chapters of Genesis.

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fwiw, many of us do not read the bible literally.....

for me, the more i studied, translated it from the "original", studied, prayed, read, prayed....

the more i was convinced of the Absolute Truth it contained.... and how much of that Truth got lost when we tried to take it literally.....

 

a fast example: genesis contains two creation stories, written by two different individuals (language patterns, word usage, world view, etc). In the first, written during the exile, there is great emphasis on ritual, and on a God who is all powerful and above us all. (7 days). in genesis 2, we have the older of the two stories, that appears to have come up thru the oral tradition, and it has God down in the muck with us, fashioning us out of earth and breathing life into us.

 

a lot of folks have spent a lot of time and energy trying to shoehorn those two stories into one so they can be literally true....

but what if they are both true?

what if God speaks and things happen?

what if God is in the muck of our lives with us, breathing God's spirit into us?

i wouldn't want to lose either of those.

and in both stories, God is the heart of creation, the very center of the story.

i wouldn't want to lose that, either....

 

and i don't believe Adam and Eve were two specific people.... nor do i see any need for one Fall.... we manage to fall again and again all by ourselves.

 

but that we might each be adam or eve..... now that is something to wrestle with....

that we each might Fall, well, that seems self-evident here in SoCal on a saturday night.....

 

much as it doesn't matter so much how many times the little boy cried wolf, or how many sheep were eaten, or whether there ever was one real little boy or one real wolf.... the story contains essential Truth, and if we get caught up in needing the words to be literally true, we risk missing the Truth it tells us about ourselves and about life.

 

blessings,

ann

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Modern study of the human genome shows that everyone does have one common female ancestor and one common male ancestor, but interestingly, they did not live at the same time.

 

Scientists actually cannot be sure of the bolded. They have made assumptions about the rate of change in mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA that may or may not be accurate. If change actually happened faster than the current consensus estimates, then the YE folks could be right about Adam and Eve living about 6,000 years ago. I don't personally think that it's all that likely Adam and Eve lived so recently, but it is within the realm of possibility.

 

I lean toward an OE timeline and God-guided evolution of the hominid body, but I do believe in the special creation of Adam's and Eve's souls, making them the first true humans.

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I believe in theistic evolution (evolution occurring over billions of years but with God as the ultimate creator/designer). I do believe in Adam and Eve as two literal people and a literal fall. I think Adam and Eve were created separately and that they were the people God formed the first relationship with, but that there were other humans who had evolved. I think Adam was special in that he was "in God's image" and as such was the first human to enjoy a special relationship with God.

 

 

What she said. :001_smile:

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fwiw, many of us do not read the bible literally.....

for me, the more i studied, translated it from the "original", studied, prayed, read, prayed....

the more i was convinced of the Absolute Truth it contained.... and how much of that Truth got lost when we tried to take it literally.....

 

a fast example: genesis contains two creation stories, written by two different individuals (language patterns, word usage, world view, etc). In the first, written during the exile, there is great emphasis on ritual, and on a God who is all powerful and above us all. (7 days). in genesis 2, we have the older of the two stories, that appears to have come up thru the oral tradition, and it has God down in the muck with us, fashioning us out of earth and breathing life into us.

 

a lot of folks have spent a lot of time and energy trying to shoehorn those two stories into one so they can be literally true....

but what if they are both true?

what if God speaks and things happen?

what if God is in the muck of our lives with us, breathing God's spirit into us?

i wouldn't want to lose either of those.

and in both stories, God is the heart of creation, the very center of the story.

i wouldn't want to lose that, either....

 

and i don't believe Adam and Eve were two specific people.... nor do i see any need for one Fall.... we manage to fall again and again all by ourselves.

 

but that we might each be adam or eve..... now that is something to wrestle with....

that we each might Fall, well, that seems self-evident here in SoCal on a saturday night.....

 

much as it doesn't matter so much how many times the little boy cried wolf, or how many sheep were eaten, or whether there ever was one real little boy or one real wolf.... the story contains essential Truth, and if we get caught up in needing the words to be literally true, we risk missing the Truth it tells us about ourselves and about life.

 

blessings,

ann

 

I absolutely love what you wrote. :)

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Ann,

 

I appreciate your reply (and everyone's for that matter).

 

I snipped the end of your post, because that specifically caught my eye. I have a difficult time understanding your reasoning. Adam and Eve and their genealogy are referenced as real in the OT and in the NT. I realize some Christians do not believe in a spiritual fall. I also realize the story in the garden people interpret other than the way I do. I've read that here before (as with every other miracle shared in the Bible). But it seems you are creating a philosophical explanation that requires as much faith as the interpretation I believe.

 

I did enjoy your post though. I do understand and agree with much of what you shared, but I don't see it as an accurate explanation from a biblical interpretation.

 

And just from another perspective (and not directed at you, Ann), there are equal amount of people that also dig deep into God's word, know the original context and language, and still interpret many of the bible "stories" as essential truth. I only say this, because very often I see the intellect being questioned to those that could honestly accept the bible stories (Noah's Ark, Daniel, Moses, Adam & Eve) and many other miracles as being real.

 

Anyway. I think I found the explanation I was looking for in this thread. I appreciate you all expounding on my friend's thoughts. This was a good read:)

 

 

Susan

 

 

and i don't believe Adam and Eve were two specific people.... nor do i see any need for one Fall.... we manage to fall again and again all by ourselves.

 

but that we might each be adam or eve..... now that is something to wrestle with....

that we each might Fall, well, that seems self-evident here in SoCal on a saturday night.....

 

much as it doesn't matter so much how many times the little boy cried wolf, or how many sheep were eaten, or whether there ever was one real little boy or one real wolf.... the story contains essential Truth, and if we get caught up in needing the words to be literally true, we risk missing the Truth it tells us about ourselves and about life.

 

blessings,

ann

Edited by susankenny
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Adam and Eve and their genealogy are referenced as real in the OT and in the NT.

 

This is dealt with on the page that I linked. There is an article that specifically deals with those genealogies. YECs frequently assume that non-literalists are not familiar with The Bible. That is an inaccurate belief. OECs are just as likely to have studied The Bible in depth. Many of those (of all sorts of beliefs, but including OECs) in my acquaintance read Hebrew and Greek, have theology degrees and have been to seminary. And I think believing that there is an essential truth there is different than believing they are literally true.

Edited by Mrs Mungo
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Modern study of the human genome shows that everyone does have one common female ancestor and one common male ancestor, but interestingly, they did not live at the same time.

 

I honestly don't understand what this means, in the context of sexual reproduction. Could you please explain?

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I believe Adam and Eve were real people, and that the Garden of Eden and the events that took place there were real. I take the account of creation as a general outline of God's plans and order in creating the earth, but do not believe it took 6 days in the sense of 24 hour periods nor that we have enough information to know the details (i.e. he could have used the process of evolution to fill the world with the diversity of life). I believe Adam and Eve were different from any humans who may have been on the earth before them, and that we are their descendants.

I think the story in Genesis is primarily to teach us spiritual truths, that it is true in outline (not a myth), but that it was never intended to be a scientific treatise on the origins of the earth.

Edited by thegardener
clarity
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I honestly don't understand what this means, in the context of sexual reproduction. Could you please explain?

 

It would mean something like this: suppose you and your husband traced your genealogies back through the generations and discovered that in the 1800s you share a common great-great.....grandmother--but you were descended from a child she bore with her first husband who later died, and your husband is descended from a child she bore with her second husband. You continue tracing the genealogies and find that further back, say the 1500's, both your bloodlines cross again, only this time you share a common great-great-great....grandfather, but are descended from different wives. You have a common ancestor on both the male and female side but at different periods of time. Of course, for this to show in your genes the female ancestor would have to have been both your ancestor through purely female lines (so you and your mother in law share a common line of chromosomal DNA passed to each child from their mother) and the male ancestor would have to be through purely male lines (father to son to son to son) so your husband and your dad share a common lineage traced through the y chromosome.

Of course the genetic studies being done are working with a much, much longer time scale.

 

ETA: of course, viewing things from an evolutionary standpoint, it seems there must still have been a common male and female ancestor living at the the time if you go back far enough--otherwise you would have to assume that humans somehow evolved twice from completely seperate bloodlines but somehow ended up all being the same species. I suspect what the scientists are saying is "the most recent common male ancestor of all humans live x number of years ago, the most recent common female ancestor lived y number of years ago" (huh, I should have reversed those letters!)

Edited by thegardener
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This is dealt with on the page that I linked. There is an article that specifically deals with those genealogies. YECs frequently assume that non-literalists are not familiar with The Bible. That is an inaccurate belief. OECs are just as likely to have studied The Bible in depth. Many of those (of all sorts of beliefs, but including OECs) in my acquaintance read Hebrew and Greek, have theology degrees and have been to seminary. And I think believing that there is an essential truth there is different than believing they are literally true.

 

amen.... and thank you....

ann

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I cannot wrap my head around Genesis being literal. This passage right here does it for me:

 

Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,[f] east of Eden. 17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch

 

 

First of all, who are these others who would kill Cain if Cain and Abel were the only two from Eve/Adam?

 

Second, how did he build a city if there were so few on earth?

 

 

 

 

I'm not even going to get into the rest of it. This sums up the unlikeliness right there that there would be any ounce of truth to a story written by men who told it orally for hundreds of years before writing it down. Inspired, maybe. Literal? No way.

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I cannot wrap my head around Genesis being literal. This passage right here does it for me:

 

Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,[f] east of Eden. 17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch

 

 

First of all, who are these others who would kill Cain if Cain and Abel were the only two from Eve/Adam?

 

Second, how did he build a city if there were so few on earth?

 

Does Genesis say that Cain and Abel were Adam's and Eve's *ONLY* children? I don't recall that being in the Bible, but I don't have the relevant chapters memorized so I'm not 100% sure.

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Does Genesis say that Cain and Abel were Adam's and Eve's *ONLY* children? I don't recall that being in the Bible, but I don't have the relevant chapters memorized so I'm not 100% sure.

I think they must have had daughters, seeing as Adam & Eve's sons had children, but the daughters are not mentioned.

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ETA: of course, viewing things from an evolutionary standpoint, it seems there must still have been a common male and female ancestor living at the the time if you go back far enough--otherwise you would have to assume that humans somehow evolved twice from completely seperate bloodlines but somehow ended up all being the same species. I suspect what the scientists are saying is "the most recent common male ancestor of all humans live x number of years ago, the most recent common female ancestor lived y number of years ago" (huh, I should have reversed those letters!)

I think this is my issue exactly. But maybe these theories of breeding with Neanderthals or whatever address the issues (but that would be from the scientific perspective not from Genesis). At any rate if there is an oldest female common relative and an oldest male relative, but not at the same time, then I don't see how humanity began except with multiple humans at the same time.

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Does Genesis say that Cain and Abel were Adam's and Eve's *ONLY* children? I don't recall that being in the Bible, but I don't have the relevant chapters memorized so I'm not 100% sure.

 

No, of course not. Cain was cast out and Abel died. Adam and Eve went on to have Seth.

 

It still doesn't explain the need to brand him or where the cities sprang up from in subsequent chapters of Gen. There's a lot of 'begots', but not enough to support the multiple cities + wives listed. There is, however, a firm defining line between God's land (not Eden) and the rest of the world at that point.

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I suspect what the scientists are saying is "the most recent common male ancestor of all humans live x number of years ago, the most recent common female ancestor lived y number of years ago" (huh, I should have reversed those letters!)

 

Most people are surprised to learn just how recent our most-recent common ancestor may be. Our MRCA--that is, one person from whom all humans now living are descended--almost certainly lived within the last 5,000 to 10,000 years. It's very possible that our MRCA lived within the last 2,000 years, and possible although less likely that our MRCA was alive as recently as 1,000 years ago.

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Most people are surprised to learn just how recent our most-recent common ancestor may be. Our MRCA--that is, one person from whom all humans now living are descended--almost certainly lived within the last 5,000 to 10,000 years. It's very possible that our MRCA lived within the last 2,000 years, and possible although less likely that our MRCA was alive as recently as 1,000 years ago.

 

I have never heard this before. The bolded doesn't make sense to me given the geographical isolation of certain peoples. I found some stats professor at Yale claiming this, but all the biologists I'm finding are giving a date much earlier (40,000 to 150,000 years ago).

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Most people are surprised to learn just how recent our most-recent common ancestor may be. Our MRCA--that is, one person from whom all humans now living are descended--almost certainly lived within the last 5,000 to 10,000 years. It's very possible that our MRCA lived within the last 2,000 years, and possible although less likely that our MRCA was alive as recently as 1,000 years ago.

I can't wrap my mind around this. How is it possible?

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I don't know if MCRA (most recent ancestor) is the best approach to the question.

 

After all, the belief in a literal Adam and Eve (as described in Genesis) requires one to believe that they were the FIRST humans, not just the most recent common ancestors. Such a belief is mutually exclusive with the evidence for evolution.

 

Or, to put it another way: if you accept that evolution is true, then there could not have been a "first human" in any practical sense of the word. There was no point at which two members of homo erectus species mated and suddenly gave birth to the first homo sapien.

 

Does that make sense?

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I have never heard this before. The bolded doesn't make sense to me given the geographical isolation of certain peoples. I found some stats professor at Yale claiming this, but all the biologists I'm finding are giving a date much earlier (40,000 to 150,000 years ago).

 

I know a lot of biologists, but I don't know any who'd place our MRCA earlier than about 10,000 years ago. We were still sharing the planet with Neanderthal 40,000 years ago. Are you sure you're talking about MRCA?

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I can't wrap my mind around this. How is it possible?

 

Well, think about in the shorter term. Go back only four generations, to your great-great-grandparents, and then count their descendants in your generation. Then imagine how much overlap you'd have in only 40 or 50 generations.

 

Generational period in humans has gotten longer, as people nowadays tend to marry and have children much later. They also tend to have many fewer children than couples did hundreds to thousands of years ago. So, although we might approximate generational period as 30 years today, a thousand years ago it was typically closer to 20 years or less.

 

It's like that old story about the chessboard and the grains of wheat, where the king agreed to put one grain on the first square the first day, two grain on the second square the second day, eight grains on the third square the third day, and so on. Within a month, there wasn't enough grain on the planet to meet his commitment for that day.

 

Of course, human generations aren't anything close to a straight orders-of-two thing, because as the number of generations continues to increase, the numbers of people who share the same ancestor also balloons. But after 1,000 years (call it 40 generations), things have already gotten pretty extreme. After 2,000 years, even more so.

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I don't know if MCRA (most recent ancestor) is the best approach to the question.

 

After all, the belief in a literal Adam and Eve (as described in Genesis) requires one to believe that they were the FIRST humans, not just the most recent common ancestors. Such a belief is mutually exclusive with the evidence for evolution.

 

Or, to put it another way: if you accept that evolution is true, then there could not have been a "first human" in any practical sense of the word. There was no point at which two members of homo erectus species mated and suddenly gave birth to the first homo sapien.

 

Does that make sense?

 

Certainly. Science is as sure as it can possibly be that the population of H. sapiens never bottlenecked at anything close to two individuals, by several orders of magnitude.

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Most people are surprised to learn just how recent our most-recent common ancestor may be. Our MRCA--that is, one person from whom all humans now living are descended--almost certainly lived within the last 5,000 to 10,000 years. It's very possible that our MRCA lived within the last 2,000 years, and possible although less likely that our MRCA was alive as recently as 1,000 years ago.

 

I would think that the MRCA would have to have lived before the first diaspora out of Africa - which was well before 2,000 years ago, no less 1,000. There's just no possible way someone living at the time of Julius Caesar (that's actually more than 2000 yrs) could have parented all the living humans today - every single Asian and Caucasian, all the different African tribes, all the Aborigines in Australia, all the Native Americans in every tribe, from the polar regions to every single descendent of the Incas in the south? All the tribes in the Amazon rain forest, even the ones that have not had contact with other humans since the Europeans came? How would that be physically possible??

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YECs frequently assume that non-literalists are not familiar with The Bible. That is an inaccurate belief. OECs are just as likely to have studied The Bible in depth. Many of those (of all sorts of beliefs, but including OECs) in my acquaintance read Hebrew and Greek, have theology degrees and have been to seminary. And I think believing that there is an essential truth there is different than believing they are literally true.

 

I've never thought that OEC lacked knowledge. I'm sorry if my posts implied that. My thoughts regarding Adam & Even aren't pivotal in my own faith and I certainly don't believe salvation is hinged upon how old someone thinks the earth is or how they view the creation story. I understand that differences in theology aren't issues that need to divide.:grouphug:

 

Susan

Edited by susankenny
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I believe Adam and Eve were real people, and that the Garden of Eden and the events that took place there were real. I take the account of creation as a general outline of God's plans and order in creating the earth, but do not believe it took 6 days in the sense of 24 hour periods nor that we have enough information to know the details (i.e. he could have used the process of evolution to fill the world with the diversity of life). I believe Adam and Eve were different from any humans who may have been on the earth before them, and that we are their descendants.

I think the story in Genesis is primarily to teach us spiritual truths, that it is true in outline (not a myth), but that it was never intended to be a scientific treatise on the origins of the earth.

 

Your thoughts really encompass what I was trying to understand. Thank you.

 

Susan

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I would think that the MRCA would have to have lived before the first diaspora out of Africa - which was well before 2,000 years ago, no less 1,000. There's just no possible way someone living at the time of Julius Caesar (that's actually more than 2000 yrs) could have parented all the living humans today - every single Asian and Caucasian, all the different African tribes, all the Aborigines in Australia, all the Native Americans in every tribe, from the polar regions to every single descendent of the Incas in the south? All the tribes in the Amazon rain forest, even the ones that have not had contact with other humans since the Europeans came? How would that be physically possible??

 

Because no group of humans is as isolated as you seem to believe, when looked at over a period of 1,000 years, 2,000 years, or more. Remember, all it takes is one link to graft an entire population group into the mix. For example, my phenotype is purely Nordic, but I promise you that I have some link with Asian, African, and other major human population groups.

 

There is no group that has been completely isolated from outsiders over that period. Imagine, say, a Viking who was the sole survivor of a shipwreck in African waters 1,000 years ago. Chances are good that he had children with an African woman, and is therefore (after many further such casual exchanges of genes over the course of many generations) the ancestor of everyone currently alive in Africa.

 

Similarly, that isolated tribe in the Amazon wasn't entirely isolated. Somewhere, perhaps in the distant past, members of that tribe interbred with women they stole in a raid from another tribe, which in turn links them genetically to that other group, which in turn at some point stole women (or adopted a shipwreck victim, or whatever).

 

Over the course of many generations, a huge number of such interchanges occur, each of which may graft on huge remote population groups to the local population group.

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I don't know if MCRA (most recent ancestor) is the best approach to the question.

 

After all, the belief in a literal Adam and Eve (as described in Genesis) requires one to believe that they were the FIRST humans, not just the most recent common ancestors. Such a belief is mutually exclusive with the evidence for evolution.

 

Or, to put it another way: if you accept that evolution is true, then there could not have been a "first human" in any practical sense of the word. There was no point at which two members of homo erectus species mated and suddenly gave birth to the first homo sapien.

 

Does that make sense?

 

It depends on what your definition of "human" is. I don't believe someone can be called a true human unless he/she has a soul. Adam and Eve were the first true humans because they were the first people to whom God gave souls. The evolution of the hominid body is not mutually exclusive with God's special creation of the human soul.

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Over the course of many generations, a huge number of such interchanges occur, each of which may graft on huge remote population groups to the local population group.

 

Yeah, but then every single one of those groups would not only have had to interchange with the outside in general but specifcially with a desecndant of one person that lived only a few generations before. Still not really buying it as being that recent. It would be remarkably coincidental that the same guy that interbred with some Aborigine (and that kids' line not only didn't die out but became intermixed with every single other Aborigine alive) was the distant cousin of the guy who intermixed with the Inuit population (and whose descendants were similarly genetically successful) and was also distant cousin (from the same ancestor, not a different one) to the guy whose offspring apparently totally overtook every single remote Amazon tribe... that one guy's descendants must really have had wanderlust.

 

Still finding it far-fetched (while perhaps statistically possible, still incredibly improbable), at least without divine intervention (which I personally find just about as unlikely).

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Yeah, but then every single one of those groups would not only have had to interchange with the outside in general but specifcially with a desecndant of one person that lived only a few generations before. Still not really buying it as being that recent. It would be remarkably coincidental that the same guy that interbred with some Aborigine (and that kids' line not only didn't die out but became intermixed with every single other Aborigine alive) was the distant cousin of the guy who intermixed with the Inuit population (and whose descendants were similarly genetically successful) and was also distant cousin (from the same ancestor, not a different one) to the guy whose offspring apparently totally overtook every single remote Amazon tribe... that one guy's descendants must really have had wanderlust.

 

Still finding it far-fetched (while perhaps statistically possible, still incredibly improbable), at least without divine intervention (which I personally find just about as unlikely).

 

No. There's no coincidence required. Again, at 1,000 years, we're talking 40 or 50 generations, and at 2,000 years twice that number.

 

Just imagine how many people are included in the group that are your 50-times great grandparents, and then add in the additional population groups that were grafted on with your 49-times great grandparents, 48-times, and so on down to the present.

 

If it were simple powers of two, ten generations back you'd have about a thousand ancestors, 20 generations back, about a million, 30 generations back, about a billion, 40 generations back, about a trillion, and 50 generations back, about a quadrillion. Of course, the sum total of the humans who've ever lived on our planet is much smaller than that because of duplication. The same individual from long ago is your ancestor by many different paths.

 

There has been mixing among "isolated" populations for thousands of years. In fact, that mixing has historically often been intentional. The whole idea of "bringing in new blood" has a sound genetic basis, and various groups have been doing that for thousands of years, usually by exchanging girls but sometimes boys, often involuntarily but often voluntarily. Even a thousand years ago, men from (say) Britain were marrying a genetically-significant number of women from distant population groups, which in turn had also intermarried with other distant population groups.

 

I think you're thinking in terms of linear progressions rather than geometric ones. The question of MRCA ultimately boils down to a gigantic and incredibly complex mesh network.

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Guest DHS88
Certainly. Science is as sure as it can possibly be that the population of H. sapiens never bottlenecked at anything close to two individuals, by several orders of magnitude.

 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point; that's certainly possible because my education on this is that of a layman.

 

Still, as I understand it, homo sapiens most certainly DID get down to quite a bottleneck -- as low as 600 mating couples -- roughly 195,000 years ago. We were amazingly close to going the route of every other hominid species that has existed (fourteen that we know of) AND also 99% other species that has ever existed on our planet: completely extinct.

 

It's hard to believe because there are 7 billion of us on the planet today. But, yes....while we never got down to anything close to "two individuals", we certainly were diminished to a critically dangerous point that could have just as easily devastated our species.

 

I've never read anything that indicates any reason to think that our MRCA is anywhere as recent as 1,000 to 4,000 years ago as mentioned in a previous post.

 

It seems unlikely -- for the most part -- because homo sapiens had already begun to leave Africa about 70,000 years ago and started migrating into Eurasia, India, Asia and Australia. By 30,000 years ago, the Asian group had moved northwest into Europe. And within 20,000 years ago, a group had moved across the Bering Strait to populate North America and -- eventually -- South America.

 

So, to place a MRCA in the last few thousand years would require us to throw away all we know about man's migration out of Africa and imagine that all humans were descendent from a single group that had not split up as recently as a few thousand years ago.

 

Would it be safe to say that a claim of "an MRCA only 2,000 years ago" relies on a young-earth creationist view?

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It depends on what your definition of "human" is. I don't believe someone can be called a true human unless he/she has a soul. Adam and Eve were the first true humans because they were the first people to whom God gave souls. The evolution of the hominid body is not mutually exclusive with God's special creation of the human soul.

So, by that rationale, Neanderthals didn't have souls. Homo erectus didn't have a soul. None of the other 14 species of humans had souls, just homo sapiens? And none of the homo sapiens had souls either, until God created Adam.

 

Is that what you're saying? Just clarifying....

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Would it be safe to say that a claim of a MRCA to only be a couple thousand years ago would rely on a young-earth creationist view that ignores the genetic evidence for evolution as well as the anthropological evidence for man's migration from Africa?
Not unless you think Richard Dawkins is YEC. :D (Though a couple thousand years seems low IIRC; I thought the best estimates were 4000+.) MRCA is nor the first common ancestor within a species, but rather the last, and it can also change over time, depending on population dynamics.
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point; that's certainly possible because my education on this is that of a layman.

 

Still, as I understand it, homo sapiens most certainly DID get down to quite a bottleneck -- as low as 600 mating couples -- roughly 195,000 years ago. We were amazingly close to going the route of every other hominid species that has existed (fourteen that we know of) AND also 99% other species that has ever existed on our planet: completely extinct.

 

It's hard to believe because there are 7 billion of us on the planet today. But, yes....while we never got down to anything close to "two individuals", we certainly were diminished to a critically dangerous point that could have just as easily devastated our species.

 

I've never read anything that indicates any reason to think that our MRCA is anywhere as recent as 1,000 to 4,000 years ago as mentioned in a previous post.

 

It seems unlikely -- for the most part -- because homo sapiens had already begun to leave Africa about 70,000 years ago and started migrating into Eurasia, India, Asia and Australia. By 30,000 years ago, the Asian group had moved northwest into Europe. And within 20,000 years ago, a group had moved across the Bering Strait to populate North America and -- eventually -- South America.

 

So, to place a MRCA in the last few thousand years would require us to throw away all we know about man's migration out of Africa and imagine that all humans were descendent from a single group that had not split up as recently as a few thousand years ago.

 

Would it be safe to say that a claim of a MRCA to only be a couple thousand years ago would rely on a young-earth creationist view that ignores the genetic evidence for evolution as well as the anthropological evidence for man's migration from Africa?

 

As far as the bottleneck, what you're referring to is "effective population" rather than total population.

 

No, a MRCA at 1,000 years ago has nothing to do with YEC. I'm not a YEC, to put it mildly. I'm radically secular.

 

What you're ignoring is mixing of populations, which has been going on since prehistoric times, even among groups that are generally considered to have been isolated. There is no truly isolated human population group, and there hasn't been for at least thousands of years. All human population groups have mixed with foreign populations, and continue to do so now. That "isolated" Amazon tribe is isolated only in relative terms, not absolutely. Gene exchange between population groups, and subsequently from one group to other groups is and always has been pretty common.

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Not unless you think Richard Dawkins is YEC. :D

LOL -- point taken! :D

 

Thanks for the information. I'll definitely check this out more.

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So, by that rationale, Neanderthals didn't have souls. Homo erectus didn't have a soul. None of the other 14 species of humans had souls, just homo sapiens? And none of the homo sapiens had souls either, until God created Adam.

 

Is that what you're saying? Just clarifying....

 

I do not believe the early hominids were truly human with souls. Like other animals, they had what the ancient Hebrews called a nephresh or life essence. The first people to be true humans with souls were Adam and Eve.

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I'm sorry. I have a science background but I'm still not understanding how the MCRA can be that recent.

 

Your example is that a person shipwrecks in an isolated area and joins up with an isolated tribe and procreates. That's fine but unless he's the ONLY one procreating in that tribe, the rest of the tribe is not going to trace back to him ancestrally. In a bunch of generations, a good portion of the tribe may be able to trace back to him but unless it was a very small tribe to begin with, it's unlikely to be 100%.

 

2,000 years ago people were spread all over the world. There were already various races. How could a common ancestor come from that time period? Every other line of decent died off in just 2000 years? I understand the exponential increase in each generation but if so many blood lines were dying off population growth would show a different kind of pattern.

 

I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding the claims about a 2,000 year old MCRA. :001_huh:

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